Wednesday, November 02, 2005


The Bush administration on Tuesday named Donald E. Powell, the chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Commission and a former Texas banker with long ties to President Bush, to coordinate the federal role in rebuilding the parts of the Gulf Coast devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita....

... In the 1990's, as governor of Texas, Mr. Bush named Mr. Powell to be chairman of the Board of Regents at Texas A&M University. Mr. Powell was one of Mr. Bush's leading fund-raisers in the 2000 presidential campaign.

... he has no direct experience overseeing large-scale rebuilding efforts of the sort being undertaken by officials in Louisiana and Mississippi....

--New York Times

Qualifications? We don't need no stinking qualifications.

Powell's FDIC, by the way, made at least one interesting hiring decision itself:

The chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. refused to comment Thursday on the agency's dealings with a former Tyco International official said to have received thousands of dollars in perks from the troubled company.

"We're not going to comment on that," FDIC Chairman Donald Powell said in response to a question from a reporter on Capitol Hill.

Judith Czelusniak, a former public affairs director for Tyco, apparently was hired as the FDIC's new press director earlier this year but has not yet started in the job – which has been vacant since last summer. She has an agency e-mail account, a telephone number, a listing in the personnel directory and a nameplate on the press director's office door, as first reported by Dow Jones Newswires last week....

Tyco's former chief executive, L. Dennis Kozlowski, is on trial on massive theft charges in state court in Manhattan, in one of several high-profile cases stemming from the business scandals of two years ago. He and ex-chief financial officer Mark Swartz are accused of stealing $600 million from the industrial conglomerate.

According to trial testimony by Tyco's former personnel director, Czelusniak was among a group of employees who enjoyed special perks – in her case, $18,500 a month paid by the company for her New York City apartment, as well as hundreds of dollars in monthly parking fees and another $4,815 a month for an apartment in Florida.

Because this story proved so embarrassing, Powell's FDIC announced that Czelusniak would not, in fact, be hired as press director.

...Oh, but she was retained as an FDIC consultant.

Yeah, this hurricane thing ought to work out really well.


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